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Normal Topic French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6) (Read 777 times)
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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #7 - 03/13/21 at 03:07:02
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As a 2 decades long french player I have played 3... Nf6, c5, Be7 and a bit of Cc6.

Nowadays I play the 6...Qd7 mentioned but with the idea of delaying ...Nf6 (the main point of it is to avoid some fast Ne4 ideas, hitting the Q on d6). After 7.Nb3 Nf6 8.0-0 a6 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 (Qxd4!?) Qc7 (hitting c4) followed by ...Bd6 hitting h2 and ...Ne7 avoiding Bg5 and Nf5 tricks is good for black. The main problem with this line is that the Q doesn't control e5, so White can play instead Qd2, Rd1 before recapturing the pawn on d4 and black may suffer a bit.

After ...Nf6 the lines with an early ...b6 intending ...Ba6 may appeal to positional players though you run the risk of being overwhelmed by a K-side attack.

As for the positions after 3...c5 being akin to sicilian that should not worry us much, if these positions give easy equality...
  

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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #6 - 03/11/21 at 20:16:26
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Michael Ayton wrote on 03/11/21 at 12:51:46:
Perhaps choice should come down to whether you feel happier in blocked or in more open positions. Re the latter, one system I’ve always been interested in but haven’t seen much writing on is 3 …Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 c5 6 c3 Nc6 7 Ndf3 cd 8 cd a5!? 9 Bd3 a4 10 Ne2 Nb6. A guy called Bunzmann specialises in this, Moskalenko’s book has one game with it, and I think Simon Williams covers it. After 5 Bd3 iso 5 f4 you can get the same position with 5 …c5 6 c3 Nc6 (if, that is, you can resist playing here the startling ‘Senegalese Surprise’ 6 …b5!?) 7 Ne2 a5!? 8 f4 cd 9 cd a4 10 Nf3 Nb6. White can diverge with 8 0-0 a4 9 Nf3, but Bunzmann has happily played this too (9 …a3!) ...


If you're planning on playing that way anyway it might be worth looking at 5..a5!?  I doubt if it changes much genuine but might amuse/disconcert white Smiley

Or even on move 3, but I'm not sure if a5 is any use if white goes c3, Bd3 etc and not  e5.
  
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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #5 - 03/11/21 at 17:19:34
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Michael Ayton wrote on 03/11/21 at 12:51:46:
Then there’s 3 …c5 4 ed Qd5 5 Ngf3 cd 6 Bc4 Qd7!?


Just saw your post after making my own. I'll be sure to look at your other suggestions too!
  
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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #4 - 03/11/21 at 17:15:41
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ReneDescartes wrote on 03/11/21 at 00:34:10:
I used to play that old ...Nf6 main line with 11...Qb6, which was fine, and recently I've been playing the IQP ...c5 lines.


One thing I like about the French is that each side has so many distinctive strategic choices.

I recently looked towards 3Nd2 Nf6 because of prior familiarity and because it leads to typically French type of play. I will continue to consider 3...Nf6 and the somewhat related 3...Be7. However perhaps they play into the strength of 3Nd2, namely white's ability to play c3 at some point.

I remember when the knock on 3Nd2 was that black could reply 3...c5, which is rather dubious after 3Nc3. GM Uhlmann played 3Nd2 c5 4exd exd regularly until he had a setback against Karpov. It is certainly playable, but it seems to me that black gets "activity" rather than "initiative" as compensation for his isolated queen pawn.

Watson introduced 4...Qxd5 to many of his readers. The main line seems adequate, but perhaps overly sharp for my tastes. GM Vallejo Pons at Chess24 has suggested a new wrinkle for black (also covered in ChessPublishing):

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. ed5 Qd5 5. Ngf3 cd4 6. Bc4 Qd7 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. O-O Nf6 9. Nbd4 Nd4 10. Nd4 a6

The main move is 6...Qd6. 6...Qd7 looks very odd to me and I'm not surprised that it was not an early choice. On the other hand it is not like the queen is vulnerable to moves like Ne5 or Ba4 in this position. On the positive side black need not move his queen before developing the king bishop beyond e7. Black will develop his queen bishop to b7. Black scores well with 6...Qd7 in both human games and with the engines (at least after a cursory check on my part).


  
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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #3 - 03/11/21 at 12:51:46
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Quote:
... one nice thing about the Morozevich ...Nf6 and ...Be7 lines is that you can semi-force the King's Indian Attack into them with the most common move orders ...

Which KIA and move-orders are those, RD?

There’s indeed a baffling cornucopia of sometimes-transposing anti-Tarrasch systems, even within the main two third-move replies! For example 3 …c5 4 Ngf3 Nf6!? as well as 4 …cd and 4 …Nc6; or 4 ed ed 5 Ngf3 c4!? as well as 5 …Nc6; or 4 ed ed 5 Ngf3 Nc6 6 Bb5 cd!? as well as 6 …Bd6 or 6 …Qe7. Then there’s 3 …c5 4 ed Qd5 5 Ngf3 cd 6 Bc4 Qd7!?, delaying …Nf6 since Ne4 won’t come with tempo.

Perhaps choice should come down to whether you feel happier in blocked or in more open positions. Re the latter, one system I’ve always been interested in but haven’t seen much writing on is 3 …Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 c5 6 c3 Nc6 7 Ndf3 cd 8 cd a5!? 9 Bd3 a4 10 Ne2 Nb6. A guy called Bunzmann specialises in this, Moskalenko’s book has one game with it, and I think Simon Williams covers it. After 5 Bd3 iso 5 f4 you can get the same position with 5 …c5 6 c3 Nc6 (if, that is, you can resist playing here the startling ‘Senegalese Surprise’ 6 …b5!?) 7 Ne2 a5!? 8 f4 cd 9 cd a4 10 Nf3 Nb6. White can diverge with 8 0-0 a4 9 Nf3, but Bunzmann has happily played this too (9 …a3!) ...
  
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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #2 - 03/11/21 at 00:34:10
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I used to play that old ...Nf6 main line with 11...Qb6, which was fine, and recently I've been playing the IQP ...c5 lines. But one nice thing about the Morozevich ...Nf6 and ...Be7 lines is that you can semi-force the King's Indian Attack into them with the most common move orders, as Watson shows in Play the French 4. Maybe that's too strong a term, but you can make it so that White's best is to go into it, even though avoiding the pawn chain variations was often White's motivation for the KIA in the first place.
  
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Re: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
Reply #1 - 03/09/21 at 09:45:36
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Pick something you like the feel of and play it.

I think the Tarrasch long since reached the point where the problem isn't so much finding a fully playable line for black, its one that's fun and hasn't been thoroughly analysed out.

For a bit 3.. h6, 3.. a6!? etc were usable as quite good ways to drag white into lines with Ngf3 and g5 involved. If you look at the databases there's a lot of theory developed there too now.

Similar with 3.. Be7. Nepo has even played 3.. a5 which is a bit outlandish Smiley
(3.. Nf6 and 4.. a5 isn't absolutely daft.).
  
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French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 (3...Be7, 3...h6)
03/08/21 at 20:56:27
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After a break of several years, I decided to play the French again. I looked at recent recommendations for black. Several authors recommend 3Nd2 c5 4exd Qxd5. While this may be good, it feels more like the Sicilian than the French to me.

Brushing up on theory, I looked at an old main line.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ne2 cd4 8. cd4 f6 9. ef6 Nf6 (Qxf6) 10. Nf3 Bd6 11. O-O

I have older books. To catch up on theory I looked at the table of contents (or index of variations) of newer books:  Watson (2012), Berg (2015), and Moskalenko (2015) all cover this.

11...Qc7 (11...0-0, 11...Qb6) 12. Bg5!? O-O 13. Rc1!

I think 13Rc1! best hinders black's counter-play.

At this point, Berg's book seems especially thorough. Berg, volume 3 chapter 18, continues with 13...Ng4!? 14. Ng3 g6! (his notations). Berg covers at least three responses: 15Bb5, 15Nh4, and 15Nd2. Presumably he has answers for each. However black has scored very poorly following either of the knight moves. I could buy Berg's book, but I'm not so sure I should.

Books by recent authors have also covered 3...Be7, and 3...h6. Those moves can each lead to the universal system (white knights on f3 and d2). Black may reason that he is better off avoiding the white knight arrangement (Nf3 and Ne2) of the line discussed above. I've looked briefly at these lines too. I'm leaning towards 3...Be7, but I'm not ready to shelve 3...Nf6 just yet. Any ideas or suggestions?
  
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